Category Archives: Terrorism (state and retail)

What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations?

The need to possess Cuba is the oldest issue in U.S. foreign policy.
— Noam Chomsky, Excerpted from Rogue States, 2000

When you watch the latest news stories about unrest in Cuba, are you relying on critical thought to process them, or are you lazily falling back on decades of deeply embedded propaganda about Castro, communism, etc.? Are you familiar with your country’s history with Cuba? Are you open to accepting that God’s Country™ may have committed atrocities far worse than anything you’ve been told about the Cuban regime?

If you claim to hate communism, do you ever ask yourself why? Is it based solely on official textbooks, news stories, and flag-waving speeches by U.S. politicians? Do you know what communism actually is? Can you differentiate between communism, socialism, Marxism, etc.? Do you know for sure that genuine communism has ever actually existed in practice?

My point here is not to defend or condemn or even juxtapose communism and capitalism. I’m not a fan of either and I pledge no allegiance to Cuba. I do, however, pledge allegiance to context, nuance, perspective, and truth. For example, when you assess current Cuban society, it cannot be accurately done without factoring in six decades of the U.S. embargo. FYI: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the ongoing embargo costs the U.S. economy $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports, while the Cuban government estimates that the embargo has cost the island itself $753.69 billion. To discuss Cuban politics, culture, or economics without factoring in the blockade is an act of intellectual dishonesty.

But there’s more — much more. The history of Cuba features a litany of abuses rained down upon it by its powerful neighbor to the north. To follow is just a small sampling to keep in mind whenever you decide to spout off about the current situation.

In 1897, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt stated bluntly, “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” His wait lasted less than a year. February 15, 1898, was a muggy Tuesday night in Havana Harbor. Some 350 crew and officers settled in onboard the U.S.S. Maine. “At 9:40 p.m., the ship’s forward end abruptly lifted itself from the water,” writes author Tom Miller. “Along the pier, passersby could hear a rumbling explosion. Within seconds, another eruption — this one deafening and massive — splintered the bow, sending anything that wasn’t battened down, and most that were, flying more than 200 feet into the air.”

By the time the sleeping giant was jarred into alertness by the Maine explosion, Cuban and Filipino rebels were already fighting Spain for independence in their respective lands. The Maine was in Havana Harbor in 1898 on a purportedly friendly mission. “Yet,” writes Miller, “the visit was neither spontaneous nor altruistic; the United States had been eyeing Cuba for almost a century.”

“At a certain point in that spring, McKinley and the business community began to see that their object, to get Spain out of Cuba, could not be accomplished without war,” adds historian Howard Zinn, “and that their accompanying object, the securing of American military and economic influence in Cuba, could not be left to the Cuban rebels, but could be ensured only by U.S. intervention.”

American newspapers, especially those run by William Randolph Hearst (New York Journal) and Joseph Pulitzer (New York World), jumped on the Maine explosion as the ideal justification to drum up public support for a war of imperialism. “Tabloid headlines depicting Spanish atrocities against Cubans became commonplace, and the influential papers of both men were outdoing each other in the sensationalized screaming for war,” says historian Kenneth C. Davis. When Hearst sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply pictures, Remington reported that he could not find a war. “You furnish the pictures,” Hearst replied, “and I’ll furnish the war.”

Spain was easily defeated, the legend of Teddy Roosevelt was manufactured whole cloth, and the Cubans (and Puerto Ricans) found themselves exchanging one colonial ruler for another. In the Philippines, where U.S. soldiers were ordered to “Burn all and kill all,” over the next decade, six hundred thousand Filipinos were eventually wiped out… all to the war cry of “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!”

These myths do more than justify actions at the time. They become part of our concept of our country and get exhumed and pressed into service when needed. These myths survive despite careful studies that expose reality. For example, in 1976, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy mounted an investigation of the Maine disaster. Rickover and his team of experts concluded that the explosion was probably caused by “spontaneous combustion inside the ship’s coal bins,” a problem common to ships of that era. Oops

Today’s perception of Cuba has little to do with the fabricated heroics of one of the faces carved on Mount Rushmore. Since 1959, it’s mostly been about Fidel Castro and his legacy. The Cuban Revolution, the ensuing U.S. blockade, and events like the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis have all been documented — in varying degrees of veracity — elsewhere. We know much less about the lower intensity U.S. assaults on Cuba… and even if we did, they are automatically justified by an ever-ready catalog of Castro’s atrocities (real and imagined) and his ties to the USSR.

Under Castro, explains Noam Chomsky, Cuba was portrayed as “an agent of the Kremlin, bent on taking over Latin America and taking over the United States.” The communism angle, combined with Castro’s authoritarian rule, lent free reign to U.S. policy planners to sell Castro as the devil in our backyard. Effective agrarian, educational, and medical reforms were all cleverly omitted from any discussion about Cuba. The focus remained on the communist in charge… keeping the public distracted from what was being done behind the scenes by their own government.

The Cuba Project, a.k.a. “Operation Mongoose,” was initiated by the Kennedy administration in January 1962 with the stated U.S. objective of helping the Cubans “overthrow the communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in peace.”

“What has happened is a level of international terrorism that as far as I know has no counterpart, apart from direct aggression,” says Chomsky. “It’s included attacking civilian installations, bombing hotels, sinking fishing vessels, destroying petrochemical installations, poisoning crops and livestock, on quite a significant scale, assassination attempts, actual murders, bombing airplanes, the bombing of Cuban missions abroad, etc. It’s a massive terrorist attack.”

The U.S. demonization of Castro and subsequent aggression toward communist Cuba since 1959 is a blueprint of spin and deception and served to strangle the revolution in its infancy. “The world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone,” says historian William Blum.

Right about now, I can hear some of you bellowing about Castro aligning with the Soviets. But the Cuban leader did come to Washington in April 1959 to discuss relations between the two governments. A different course could’ve been chosen by the Home of the Brave™. Instead, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to meet with Castro. He was too busy golfing in Georgia so he sent Vice President Richard Nixon in his place. The rest, as they say, is history. But, then again, Cuba has never really stood a chance.

For a glimpse into how the U.S. views Cuba (and other nations in that geographical area), consider what Marine Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler said all the way back in the 1930s.

Calling war “possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious” racket of all, in which “profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in lives.” Summing up his career, Butler explained: “I spent 33 years being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”

As far back as the American Revolution, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams announced that U.S. control of Cuba was “of transcendent importance.” This brings us back to today’s headlines.

The post What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations?

The need to possess Cuba is the oldest issue in U.S. foreign policy.
— Noam Chomsky, Excerpted from Rogue States, 2000

When you watch the latest news stories about unrest in Cuba, are you relying on critical thought to process them, or are you lazily falling back on decades of deeply embedded propaganda about Castro, communism, etc.? Are you familiar with your country’s history with Cuba? Are you open to accepting that God’s Country™ may have committed atrocities far worse than anything you’ve been told about the Cuban regime?

If you claim to hate communism, do you ever ask yourself why? Is it based solely on official textbooks, news stories, and flag-waving speeches by U.S. politicians? Do you know what communism actually is? Can you differentiate between communism, socialism, Marxism, etc.? Do you know for sure that genuine communism has ever actually existed in practice?

My point here is not to defend or condemn or even juxtapose communism and capitalism. I’m not a fan of either and I pledge no allegiance to Cuba. I do, however, pledge allegiance to context, nuance, perspective, and truth. For example, when you assess current Cuban society, it cannot be accurately done without factoring in six decades of the U.S. embargo. FYI: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the ongoing embargo costs the U.S. economy $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports, while the Cuban government estimates that the embargo has cost the island itself $753.69 billion. To discuss Cuban politics, culture, or economics without factoring in the blockade is an act of intellectual dishonesty.

But there’s more — much more. The history of Cuba features a litany of abuses rained down upon it by its powerful neighbor to the north. To follow is just a small sampling to keep in mind whenever you decide to spout off about the current situation.

In 1897, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt stated bluntly, “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” His wait lasted less than a year. February 15, 1898, was a muggy Tuesday night in Havana Harbor. Some 350 crew and officers settled in onboard the U.S.S. Maine. “At 9:40 p.m., the ship’s forward end abruptly lifted itself from the water,” writes author Tom Miller. “Along the pier, passersby could hear a rumbling explosion. Within seconds, another eruption — this one deafening and massive — splintered the bow, sending anything that wasn’t battened down, and most that were, flying more than 200 feet into the air.”

By the time the sleeping giant was jarred into alertness by the Maine explosion, Cuban and Filipino rebels were already fighting Spain for independence in their respective lands. The Maine was in Havana Harbor in 1898 on a purportedly friendly mission. “Yet,” writes Miller, “the visit was neither spontaneous nor altruistic; the United States had been eyeing Cuba for almost a century.”

“At a certain point in that spring, McKinley and the business community began to see that their object, to get Spain out of Cuba, could not be accomplished without war,” adds historian Howard Zinn, “and that their accompanying object, the securing of American military and economic influence in Cuba, could not be left to the Cuban rebels, but could be ensured only by U.S. intervention.”

American newspapers, especially those run by William Randolph Hearst (New York Journal) and Joseph Pulitzer (New York World), jumped on the Maine explosion as the ideal justification to drum up public support for a war of imperialism. “Tabloid headlines depicting Spanish atrocities against Cubans became commonplace, and the influential papers of both men were outdoing each other in the sensationalized screaming for war,” says historian Kenneth C. Davis. When Hearst sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply pictures, Remington reported that he could not find a war. “You furnish the pictures,” Hearst replied, “and I’ll furnish the war.”

Spain was easily defeated, the legend of Teddy Roosevelt was manufactured whole cloth, and the Cubans (and Puerto Ricans) found themselves exchanging one colonial ruler for another. In the Philippines, where U.S. soldiers were ordered to “Burn all and kill all,” over the next decade, six hundred thousand Filipinos were eventually wiped out… all to the war cry of “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!”

These myths do more than justify actions at the time. They become part of our concept of our country and get exhumed and pressed into service when needed. These myths survive despite careful studies that expose reality. For example, in 1976, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy mounted an investigation of the Maine disaster. Rickover and his team of experts concluded that the explosion was probably caused by “spontaneous combustion inside the ship’s coal bins,” a problem common to ships of that era. Oops

Today’s perception of Cuba has little to do with the fabricated heroics of one of the faces carved on Mount Rushmore. Since 1959, it’s mostly been about Fidel Castro and his legacy. The Cuban Revolution, the ensuing U.S. blockade, and events like the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis have all been documented — in varying degrees of veracity — elsewhere. We know much less about the lower intensity U.S. assaults on Cuba… and even if we did, they are automatically justified by an ever-ready catalog of Castro’s atrocities (real and imagined) and his ties to the USSR.

Under Castro, explains Noam Chomsky, Cuba was portrayed as “an agent of the Kremlin, bent on taking over Latin America and taking over the United States.” The communism angle, combined with Castro’s authoritarian rule, lent free reign to U.S. policy planners to sell Castro as the devil in our backyard. Effective agrarian, educational, and medical reforms were all cleverly omitted from any discussion about Cuba. The focus remained on the communist in charge… keeping the public distracted from what was being done behind the scenes by their own government.

The Cuba Project, a.k.a. “Operation Mongoose,” was initiated by the Kennedy administration in January 1962 with the stated U.S. objective of helping the Cubans “overthrow the communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in peace.”

“What has happened is a level of international terrorism that as far as I know has no counterpart, apart from direct aggression,” says Chomsky. “It’s included attacking civilian installations, bombing hotels, sinking fishing vessels, destroying petrochemical installations, poisoning crops and livestock, on quite a significant scale, assassination attempts, actual murders, bombing airplanes, the bombing of Cuban missions abroad, etc. It’s a massive terrorist attack.”

The U.S. demonization of Castro and subsequent aggression toward communist Cuba since 1959 is a blueprint of spin and deception and served to strangle the revolution in its infancy. “The world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone,” says historian William Blum.

Right about now, I can hear some of you bellowing about Castro aligning with the Soviets. But the Cuban leader did come to Washington in April 1959 to discuss relations between the two governments. A different course could’ve been chosen by the Home of the Brave™. Instead, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to meet with Castro. He was too busy golfing in Georgia so he sent Vice President Richard Nixon in his place. The rest, as they say, is history. But, then again, Cuba has never really stood a chance.

For a glimpse into how the U.S. views Cuba (and other nations in that geographical area), consider what Marine Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler said all the way back in the 1930s.

Calling war “possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious” racket of all, in which “profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in lives.” Summing up his career, Butler explained: “I spent 33 years being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”

As far back as the American Revolution, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams announced that U.S. control of Cuba was “of transcendent importance.” This brings us back to today’s headlines.

The post What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations?

The need to possess Cuba is the oldest issue in U.S. foreign policy.
— Noam Chomsky, Excerpted from Rogue States, 2000

When you watch the latest news stories about unrest in Cuba, are you relying on critical thought to process them, or are you lazily falling back on decades of deeply embedded propaganda about Castro, communism, etc.? Are you familiar with your country’s history with Cuba? Are you open to accepting that God’s Country™ may have committed atrocities far worse than anything you’ve been told about the Cuban regime?

If you claim to hate communism, do you ever ask yourself why? Is it based solely on official textbooks, news stories, and flag-waving speeches by U.S. politicians? Do you know what communism actually is? Can you differentiate between communism, socialism, Marxism, etc.? Do you know for sure that genuine communism has ever actually existed in practice?

My point here is not to defend or condemn or even juxtapose communism and capitalism. I’m not a fan of either and I pledge no allegiance to Cuba. I do, however, pledge allegiance to context, nuance, perspective, and truth. For example, when you assess current Cuban society, it cannot be accurately done without factoring in six decades of the U.S. embargo. FYI: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the ongoing embargo costs the U.S. economy $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports, while the Cuban government estimates that the embargo has cost the island itself $753.69 billion. To discuss Cuban politics, culture, or economics without factoring in the blockade is an act of intellectual dishonesty.

But there’s more — much more. The history of Cuba features a litany of abuses rained down upon it by its powerful neighbor to the north. To follow is just a small sampling to keep in mind whenever you decide to spout off about the current situation.

In 1897, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt stated bluntly, “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” His wait lasted less than a year. February 15, 1898, was a muggy Tuesday night in Havana Harbor. Some 350 crew and officers settled in onboard the U.S.S. Maine. “At 9:40 p.m., the ship’s forward end abruptly lifted itself from the water,” writes author Tom Miller. “Along the pier, passersby could hear a rumbling explosion. Within seconds, another eruption — this one deafening and massive — splintered the bow, sending anything that wasn’t battened down, and most that were, flying more than 200 feet into the air.”

By the time the sleeping giant was jarred into alertness by the Maine explosion, Cuban and Filipino rebels were already fighting Spain for independence in their respective lands. The Maine was in Havana Harbor in 1898 on a purportedly friendly mission. “Yet,” writes Miller, “the visit was neither spontaneous nor altruistic; the United States had been eyeing Cuba for almost a century.”

“At a certain point in that spring, McKinley and the business community began to see that their object, to get Spain out of Cuba, could not be accomplished without war,” adds historian Howard Zinn, “and that their accompanying object, the securing of American military and economic influence in Cuba, could not be left to the Cuban rebels, but could be ensured only by U.S. intervention.”

American newspapers, especially those run by William Randolph Hearst (New York Journal) and Joseph Pulitzer (New York World), jumped on the Maine explosion as the ideal justification to drum up public support for a war of imperialism. “Tabloid headlines depicting Spanish atrocities against Cubans became commonplace, and the influential papers of both men were outdoing each other in the sensationalized screaming for war,” says historian Kenneth C. Davis. When Hearst sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply pictures, Remington reported that he could not find a war. “You furnish the pictures,” Hearst replied, “and I’ll furnish the war.”

Spain was easily defeated, the legend of Teddy Roosevelt was manufactured whole cloth, and the Cubans (and Puerto Ricans) found themselves exchanging one colonial ruler for another. In the Philippines, where U.S. soldiers were ordered to “Burn all and kill all,” over the next decade, six hundred thousand Filipinos were eventually wiped out… all to the war cry of “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!”

These myths do more than justify actions at the time. They become part of our concept of our country and get exhumed and pressed into service when needed. These myths survive despite careful studies that expose reality. For example, in 1976, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy mounted an investigation of the Maine disaster. Rickover and his team of experts concluded that the explosion was probably caused by “spontaneous combustion inside the ship’s coal bins,” a problem common to ships of that era. Oops

Today’s perception of Cuba has little to do with the fabricated heroics of one of the faces carved on Mount Rushmore. Since 1959, it’s mostly been about Fidel Castro and his legacy. The Cuban Revolution, the ensuing U.S. blockade, and events like the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis have all been documented — in varying degrees of veracity — elsewhere. We know much less about the lower intensity U.S. assaults on Cuba… and even if we did, they are automatically justified by an ever-ready catalog of Castro’s atrocities (real and imagined) and his ties to the USSR.

Under Castro, explains Noam Chomsky, Cuba was portrayed as “an agent of the Kremlin, bent on taking over Latin America and taking over the United States.” The communism angle, combined with Castro’s authoritarian rule, lent free reign to U.S. policy planners to sell Castro as the devil in our backyard. Effective agrarian, educational, and medical reforms were all cleverly omitted from any discussion about Cuba. The focus remained on the communist in charge… keeping the public distracted from what was being done behind the scenes by their own government.

The Cuba Project, a.k.a. “Operation Mongoose,” was initiated by the Kennedy administration in January 1962 with the stated U.S. objective of helping the Cubans “overthrow the communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in peace.”

“What has happened is a level of international terrorism that as far as I know has no counterpart, apart from direct aggression,” says Chomsky. “It’s included attacking civilian installations, bombing hotels, sinking fishing vessels, destroying petrochemical installations, poisoning crops and livestock, on quite a significant scale, assassination attempts, actual murders, bombing airplanes, the bombing of Cuban missions abroad, etc. It’s a massive terrorist attack.”

The U.S. demonization of Castro and subsequent aggression toward communist Cuba since 1959 is a blueprint of spin and deception and served to strangle the revolution in its infancy. “The world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone,” says historian William Blum.

Right about now, I can hear some of you bellowing about Castro aligning with the Soviets. But the Cuban leader did come to Washington in April 1959 to discuss relations between the two governments. A different course could’ve been chosen by the Home of the Brave™. Instead, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to meet with Castro. He was too busy golfing in Georgia so he sent Vice President Richard Nixon in his place. The rest, as they say, is history. But, then again, Cuba has never really stood a chance.

For a glimpse into how the U.S. views Cuba (and other nations in that geographical area), consider what Marine Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler said all the way back in the 1930s.

Calling war “possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious” racket of all, in which “profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in lives.” Summing up his career, Butler explained: “I spent 33 years being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”

As far back as the American Revolution, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams announced that U.S. control of Cuba was “of transcendent importance.” This brings us back to today’s headlines.

The post What do you really know about U.S.-Cuba relations? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

China and Russia Quiet about US Past Genocides and Ongoing Genocide in the Middle East and Africa

The world facing desperate situations of climate change, planetary degradation and nuclear war preparation desperately needs protection from inhumane deceiving war promoting Western media, and from where shall it come if not from the bountiful and powerful two great designated adversaries of the Western powers, China, the world’s most populous nation and largest economy, and the Russian Federation encompassing 11% of the planet’s landmass.

Seems That the World Has Let Americans Get Away With Murderous Genocide in So Many Countries

Let’s begin with acknowledging that officials of the United States of America, its military, its clandestine operating CIA, and personnel within its criminal media cartel have been committing crimes against humanity free of any worry or concern of prosecution.

Let us also acknowledge that though there is relatively free speech throughout most of the world, no one seems to ever be talking about the multitude of legally prosecutable monstrous crimes against humanity committed by Americans with impunity, many of which involve the death of millions of innocent men, women and children. There is a strange absence of much talk about them even as the horrific acts of genocide that they were.

The World Court of Public Opinion Is Not Yet in Session Regarding US Crimes Against Humanity

Sure, there are quite a few anti-imperialist books in print that are critical of US genocides, but the great court of world pubic opinion has not been in session since 1945 when there was consensus among people throughout the world for demanding the ultimate legal punishment of the leaders of the nations for the murderous horrors perpetrated during their invasions and bombings in the course of the Second World War.

American Officials are Vulnerable for Having Confessed or Bragged about Their Illegal, Unconstitutional and Genocidal Crimes

How is it that even government officials of nations presently under attack by the United States of America, and those of nations invaded and bombed by the US in the past, passively continue to allow Americans to get away with murder, the present murdering of thousands and the past mass murder of many millions, when massively murderous crimes against humanity have even been openly admitted to by high officials of the government of the United States of America by their openly characterizing them either as having been mistakes or by bragging about their having been successful.

–  American officials claiming that their mega genocidal invasions, bombings and occupation wars in Vietnam and Iraq were honest mistakes are the two most devastating examples. “We were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.” –former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.1 “It was a mistake, and I acknowledge that.” — Presidential candidate Joe Biden referring to his vote in favor of the Iraq invasion war when he was chairman of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.2 But no talk of Americans paying for their years of ‘mistakes,’ murder and maiming of millions and the destruction of their countries.

–  The CIA official in charge of the the US/UK covertly engineered bloody overthrow of Iranian democracy in 1953 has even written a book bragging about his crime,3 which the CIA has publicly admitted to.4

–  American murderous invasions of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Grenada and covertly arranging and financing devastating civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador that are openly acknowledged (without any sense of responsibility for the suffering).

–  The undercover arrangements for the brutal assassination of democratically elected popular first Congo President Patrice Lumumba were entertainingly reviewed in a televised segment of the US government’s Smithsonian Institute Channel in US mainstream media,5 no contrition indicated.

No Uproar in Reaction to Americans Massive Murdering of Millions of Innocent Men, Women and Children in Their Own Beloved Countries far away from the Invading United States of America

Martin Luther King’s & Nelson Mandela’s Exceptional Outcries

Oh, from time to time there have been accusing outcries from individuals: “The greatest  purveyor of violence in the world is my own government,” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 made headlines in newspapers throughout the world,6 and South African President Nelson Mandela in 2003, “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities it is the United States of America,”7 Of course, CIA controlled criminal mainstream media vilified King, didn’t report Mandela’s outcry, and has made sure that few people ever heard of King’s condemnation of his government again. However, neither King nor Mandela called for prosecution of the perpetrators and compensation for victims of the atrocities they decried. (King did say that Americans ‘must make what reparations they can for the damage they did and provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in the US if necessary, but said nothing about prosecution of Americans.)

In Western alternate media, the finest independent journalists, top intellectuals and historians stick to reporting and chronicling events of human horror as if they were imperial RealPolitik, as unchallengeable as the weather, rarely including the whole truth that they are obviously prosecutable as crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and genocide. Inversely, in the case of domestic homicide on a city street anywhere in the world, the public clamors to know whether or not what happened was a crime or not. Amazingly, in world coverage independent journalism this writer finds the word ‘crime’ is never or hardly ever employed. Journalists report mass murderous world events as terrible or mistaken foreign policy, rarely, if ever, citing a need for reparations, indemnity, or compensation for surviving victims.

Sadly, when an Iraq mom, managed to get her lawsuit against President Bush and members of his administration as far as a US Federal Court of Appeals, it received only a very modest amount of coverage even in anti-imperialist independent alternate media.

There’s Freedom of Speech but No One is Speaking Out

Why is there is no outcry around the world against the dozens of US invasions, bombings, occupation wars and deadly sanctions in and on smaller nations? The US bloodletting is probably rarely even much of a topic of pubic conversation anywhere except within the populations of the countries under US attack. Independent peoples historians assume that it is because of the enormous influence of monopolized CIA overseen giant worldwide media conglomerates.

For decades, powerful CIA controlled Western news and entertainment media, with it’s television’s worldwide satellite reach has mesmerized and totally bamboozled its planetary audience into ineptitude with its programing of indulgence, of very restricted and twisted selective news, deceitfully blacked out critical information, misinformation, and often outright lies ultimately portraying the many US regime change invasions, bombings, sanctions and occupation wars as benevolent and necessary to protecting American freedom and democracy.8

Way back in 1950, Albert Einstein explained “Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”9

Albert Einstein wrote that in 1950, even before the CIA operation Mongoose10 had completed its control over everyone of any appreciable importance in American media and sources of information and in much of Western Europe and on the other continents, see the lengthy article: Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A. 12/26/1977, The New Times.11,12

Powerful Western Media Has Anesthetized Majority Humanity but Why Are Even those Nations under US Attack Relatively Silent Re US Crimes Against Humanity?

Unfortunately, some nations currently under American military attack have pro US war lord governments installed by American occupying forces as in the case of Afghanistan and Somalia, and the populations of many nations formerly invaded, bombed and sanctioned by Americans, like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia want to put their enormous suffering behind them. Their governments seek to avoid confrontation with the USA, long become trading partners.

A majority of small countries in the world once attacked by Americans, British or French have governments either economically, politically and militarily controlled by the USA or by a Western colonial power, or if enjoying a degree of independence, fear criticizing the US would bring economic punishment and/or covertly arranged disturbances.

Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Yemen and North Korea For Years Under Mortal Attack From USA! China & Russia  Targeted with Nuclear Missiles — All Have Independent Governments

This is all to say that humanity can only hope for calls for international law to come down on the past and present murderous lawlessness of the  American empire from nations presently under attack which have independent governments free from US control, like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. However, up to now, the these nations have not taken advantage of the US wars confessed to as mistakes, which it seems could easily be profiled into world public awareness of USA guilt of genocide, at least in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq.

Likewise would the repeated quoting publicly of Martin Luther King’s blistering condemnations of his government damage the credibility of Western media, which has for more than a half-century blacked-out Kings damnation of his government. These glaringly obvious ways to fight back against the insanely criminal USA that is attacking their nations and constantly threatening world war are not being taken advantage of though many nations suffer US sanctions and worse.

Solidarity and Truthful Counter-Propaganda from Independent Nations Under US Attack Woefully Insufficient

The US was sued by Nicaragua in the World Court in 1984 for mining Nicaragua’s harbors and other hostile acts (Nicaragua v. United States). The Court ruled in Nicaragua’s favor and found the US in violation of customary international law. The court put the United States of America under obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua. The US ignored the ruling but apparently stopped the mining. The suit brought international attention to US being guilty of crimes against a tiny country and it considering itself above the law.

This conviction by the International Court of Justice should not have been allowed to be forgotten as well as the US mega genocides committed in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Iraq, and all the other regime change murderous invasions, bombings and deadly sanctions of Latin American, Middle East and African nations.

An Absence of Law

No leader anywhere ever seems to call for prosecution of US invasions under the Nuremberg Principles of International Law. Even the very leaders of nations under illegal US NATO attack fail to even speak of laws broken during yearly UN General Assembly Debates

There has long been an atmosphere of appeasement in the UN General Assembly’s yearly General Debate. Delegate after delegate from Africa, Asia and Oceania seem to adhere to some ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ not to embarrass the great and powerful United States of America when describing the appalling conditions prevailing throughout the 3rd World.

How strange, mysterious, unexplainable, illogical, baffling and painful for millions grieving over past genocidal military action and the millions facing death or worse today, that since the inception of the United Nations, no delegate to the UN General Assembly, with one exception (to the best of this historian’s knowledge), has called for justice under the law, for any of the the tens of millions of survivors of past mega profitable crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and forms of genocide. The single exception this author could find was Muammar Gaddafi’s comprehensive UN General Assembly address calling for investigation of all wars and restitution for victims of US NATO UN crimes against humanity.

That one exception occurred during the UN General Debate in 2009, when Gaddafi, leader of the Revolution of the Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, spoke in the name of the African Union: “We are about to put the United Nations on trial; the old organization will be finished and a new one will emerge.”  Gaddafi called for investigations into past wars of permanent members of the Security Council, the US, UK and France, to be followed by trials of those guilty of causing these wars and millions of deaths and suffering “that has surpassed that brought by the Nazis.”

Speaking before the UN General Assembly in 2009, Gaddafi, had called the Security Council a “Terror Council” for the sixty-five wars it has failed to prevent, even approving or participating in most of them. How prophetic for what would come Gaddafi’s way so soon. (See “Time to Expose Media Manufactured Uprising CIA Terrorists US-NATO Air Strikes on Wealthy Libya“)13

By not using their veto power, two giant independent nations, Russia and revolutionary China, gave the colonial powers the 2011 No-Fly Zone resolution which US and NATO military used to destroy all Libya’s army and militias which had been successfully fighting a CIA created terrorist rebel army that was executing black Libyans.14

China and Russia also voted for a resolution precipitously accusing Libya’s government leaders and armed groups of violently suppressing peaceful demonstrations.

However, the Prosecutor of International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, stated that Mr. Gaddafi is just one of several individuals in Libya whose alleged criminal acts could fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC which continues to monitor criminal actions of armed groups in the country. These armed groups represent a major threat to long-term peace and stability in Libya.” There never was a single documenting video or photo of a peaceful anti-government demonstration, let alone, one being fired upon. To the contrary, there was a near million wildly demonstrating in favor of Gaddafi and Libya’s Green Book socialism while NATO planes bombed never reported in the New York Times or elsewhere in the US or Europe.15

The colonial powers had sufficient influence in both the Arab League and the African Union to have both organizations vote against Gaddafi, which in turn influenced China’s UN posture.

China, after indicating it was against military intervention, abstained instead of voting no on the UN Security Council resolution calling for war on the Libyan government with the fig lief of enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians — a war by white neocolonialist powers on their former African colony that had raised its Arab socialist living standard to be higher than nine European nations including Russia.

China lovers were instantly stumped into incomprehension, bewilderment, dismayed, the rug pulled out from underneath their feet. Their confidence lost that the fifth of Mankind with wisdom gained during five thousand years of practical living would protect the rest of us from the insanely barbaric, homicidal imperialism wrought by predatory capitalism that had once colonized the whole nonwhite world, including China. This confidence or hope was now destroyed with our witnessing China going along with a classic example of false flag violence fostering a civil war in the age old imperialist principle of divide and conquer.

Vladimir Putin was not president of Russia during the Libyan debacle, and this author later published “Russians Calling Medvedev a ‘Traitor’ for Not Vetoing UN NATO War on Libya in Larger Context” — the article’s larger theme is the willingness of humanity to accept White world profitable investments in genocide until world economic power shifts from Europeans and their descendant nations overseas to the six sevenths of humanity they plunder. Article portrays the immediate before and after of the preposterous destruction of Libya.

The White folks nations led by the US have been throwing up a solid anti-Russian and anti-Chinese barrage of accusations, but the two great designated adversaries of the West remain polite and defensive.

China is accused of cultural genocide in Xinjiang, US President Biden labels Russian President Putin “a killer,” while even the West’s obvious backing of horrific ISIS goes unmentioned by the Russians and Chinese. (See “An American Senator Writes of ISIS ‘Hellish Filth We’ve Recruited, Armed and Trained for 8 Years!’” “The Syrian War had ” much to do with clandestine actions of CIA, MI-6, Mossad, Turkish MIT, French DGSE, Saudi GID and others. It would never have occurred without American planning and execution (and criminal media complicity).16

In ISIS IS US, a panel of cutting-edge researchers tell what ISIS really is, and what has been going on behind the scenes in Iraq, Syria and Libya. The conclusion: Like Iran-Contra, the ISIS death squads were set up by the US to crush a nation.))

Chinese & Russian Diplomacy Quiet Re America’s Massive Genocide17 in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan

About 2.4 million people have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, while about 1.2 million have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. About 250,000 Libyans have been killed in the war, violence and chaos that the U.S. and its allies unleashed in Libya in February 2011. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people have been killed in Syria since the Islamic terrorists, ISIS and others were introduced into Syria. Estimates of people killed in Somalia since 2006 must be somewhere between 500,000 and 850,000. Estimates for Yemen are about 175,000 people killed, a minimum of 120,000 and a maximum of 240,000.

After 16 years of war, about 6 million violent deaths, and the killing continues as we read this.

After 21 years of war, 6 countries utterly destroyed and many other destabilized, and this reality carefully omitted from what qualifies as the evening news on telecasts in America, Europe and most of the TV watching world audience.18 Would that a compassionate supreme being looking down at planet Earth, would somehow see to this information being presented to Earthlings, that they might be motivated to put a end to such a inhuman catastrophe.

The world facing desperate situations of climate change, planetary degradation and nuclear war preparation desperately needs protection from inhumane deceiving war promoting Western media, and where shall it come if not from the bountiful and powerful two great designated adversaries of the Western powers, China, the world’s most populous nation and largest economy, and the Russian Federation encompassing 11% of the planet’s landmass.

Until now, seems that both Russia and China have confined themselves to presenting convincing domestic media and have spent only modest resources in reaching out internationally beyond cultural and scientific news coverage.

It bears mention that if China and Russia sought to seriously expand their international news coverage to include some occasional  overview of the mega massive loss of life in the millions brought about by the genocidal foreign policies of the United States of America and its allies since 1945, both could expect some somewhat similar charge of at least one genocidal policy each. China’s invasion of Vietnam in 1976, as the   New York Times alleged that leader Deng Xiaoping stated as to teach Vietnam a lesson — a lesson that took the lives of 30,000 human beings. Over the span of years from 1991 through 2017, Russia first lost the Chechian war for independence, then reconquered Chechnya amid a terrific loss of life and deadly Islamic terror, and in 2008 fought a heavy handed war with Georgia over the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia.

However, it is China and the Russian Federation that represent humanity’s hope and profound desire for a peaceful world of cooperation and non-belligerence. At present a wild insistence is being broadcast for war preparation with its seemingly unlimited financing constantly demanded in the media of the US-led Western neo-colonial capitalist democracies. The list of genocidal regime change wars, invasions, bombings and sanctions perpetrated by the US led Western powers since 1945 is inclusive of nearly a majority of the formerly militarily colonized peoples of the world and the deadly violence continues in more than a half dozen nations. This is what needs media attention for protection of those who will otherwise continue to suffer death, maiming and immeasurable suffering.

Though for the Chinese, confrontation, both in the martial arts, as in Kung-fu, and in social behavior and personal demeanor is a face and balance losing stance, Chinese cities are targeted with US nuclear warheads, and since either by accident, mistake or intention, a million-fold catastrophe could occur, it would seem some outspoken attention, some awareness, some warning for all humanity is in order. NATO has threateningly declared China a global security challenge.19

Military and nuclear confrontation seems to be no problem for President Putin, however given the awesome challenge of climate change and planetary degradation being derailed by the mega enormous financial and human resources wasted on military spending, a facing off in a tough cold war posture does not seem a sufficient response to the continuing menace from the United States of America and her allies.

In this no win situation, may some Chinese philosophical wisdom be introduced in some fresh world media in time to prevent the third world war being so assiduously invested in, planned, prepared for and promoted, while the effects of climate change and Earth degradation slowly inundates humanity in a lethal future.

  1. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, writing in his 1995 memoir, In Retrospect, on the management of the Vietnam War.
  2. Presidential candidate Joe Biden referring to Iraq invasion war. During a 2020 presidential debate, Biden delivered an apology for Iraq War vote] As Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Joe Biden’s enthusiastic support for war on Iraq was crucial.
  3. Countercoup: The Struggle for the control of Iran is the memoir of CIA man Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of former US President Theodore Roosevelt.the book recounts his role in overthrowing democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh with triumphant zeal.
  4. The CIA has publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, in documents that also show how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow. The US national security archive at George Washington University published a series of declassified CIA documents. 8/19/2013, The Guardian.
  5. Devil Eisenhower ordered the assassination of President Patrice Lumumba, YouTube 1/13/2017, BBCFOUR Smithsonian Channel telecasted https://www.bing.com/videos/search.
  6. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City.
  7. AP in Johannesburg and agencies, 30 Jan 2003.
  8. Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent revisited,” The Listening Post 12/22/2018, You Tube.
  9. Albert Einstein, Essays in Humanism.
  10. Mockingbird was a secret operation by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts and also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns.

    After 1953, Operation Mockingbird had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services. These networks were run by people with well-known pro-American big business and anti-communist views.

    The CIA currently maintains a network of individuals around the world who attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda, and provide direct access to a large amount of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”

    After leaving the Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years.

    — Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media.”

    For those unfamiliar, Operation Mockingbird was a CIA operation began as the Cold War ramped up in the 1950’s. In an attempt to gather …

    Newly Declassified Govt Docs Reveal Operation Mockingbird is Alive and Well,” Oct 2, 2015.

  11. Church Committee (the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) was a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975-6 that investigated abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church amazingly criminal findings must have the publishers of the New York Times some obligation to report on covert criminal activity the Church Committee had brought to public attention.

    Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, 1988.

    The agency appears to be a serial violator of human rights around the world including inside America itself. The books shows everyone how to identify CIA …

    Operation Mockingbird, CIA Media Control Program,” YouTube

    1976, Senator Church live with his investigating committee re Operation Mockingbird

  12. Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent 1988, Pantheon Books.
  13. A month before French and British planes would eventually destroy Libyan Armed Forces and militias, and hunt Gadaffi down there was a massive pro-Gadaffi Green Libya demonstration of a near million Libyans and Gadaffi address the multitude from hiding even while NATO planes bombed. It went unreported in Western media and videos of the event have recently been removed, blocked. For years they could be viewed at HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY IN TRIPOLI – RAW FOOTAGE, 7/2/2011, http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=14505 among other alternate media sites. All now blocked or no longer available.
  14. There were armed attacks on police stations (even traffic police) and vicious attacks on Chinese and Korea construction workers already two days before, and during the anniversary of the Danish Cartoons or “day of rage,’ executions of 50 captured Libyan soldiers, one beheaded, some hung along with police officers. And who knows how many ordinary Libyan civilians harmed by tough guys brought in to Benghazi and other Cyrenaican towns. This was reported by Reuters and BBC, but not CNN. There are (now were) some horrifically gruesome cell phone videos on the Internet of grisly hangings, beheadings, bloody beatings of blacks and others loyal to their government. (Libya has a black population, mostly in South Libya, of half a million. Libya under Gaddafi has eliminated a good deal of race discrimination, so black Libyans are especially loyal to the government.) Jay Janson, “There Was No Libyan Peaceful Protest, Just Murderous Gangs and Nic Robertson,” 16 June, 2011, Countercurrents.org.
  15. [14]
  16. Ask Hillary Who Buys ISIS et al Terrorists Helping US Oust Assad NewToyota Trucks/ Heavy Weapons.” Sec. Hillary oversaw regime change wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, S. Sudan, Syria, Yemen; should be asked to explain new Toyota trucks/heavy weapons coming to ISIS/other terrorists, who have been mass murdering US designated enemies in Assad’s Syria and Shiite wherever they are; why superpower US ‘fighting’ for 5 years can’t defeat ragtag force of 25,000; involved false flags attacks on US to prove innocence?

    John-Paul Leonard, ISIS IS US: The Shocking Truth: Behind the Army of Terror

  17. Article 2 of the The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly effective 1/12/1951, defines genocide as

    … any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  18. Nicolas J.S. Davies, “How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars? Part 3: Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen,” Consortium News, April 25, 2018.
  19. M.K. Bhadrakumar, “NATO declares China as global security challenge in World, 18/06/2021.
The post China and Russia Quiet about US Past Genocides and Ongoing Genocide in the Middle East and Africa first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Israel’s night raids on Palestinian families aren’t over, whatever the courts say

The videos are all over YouTube. Masked Israeli soldiers storm a Palestinian family’s home in the middle of the night. Parents, dressed in nightwear, are suddenly surrounded by heavily armed men in balaclavas.

Young children are forced awake. With a mix of bleary-eyed confusion and fear, they are made to answer questions posed to them in broken Arabic by these faceless, armed strangers. They are lined up in one room while the soldiers take photographs of them holding their identity cards. And then, just as suddenly as they arrived, the masked men disappear into the night.

There are no questions beyond identifying the people in the house. No one is “arrested”. There’s no obvious purpose; just a family’s sense of security permanently wrecked.

To most people watching these startling videos, such scenes look like an Orwellian nightmare. And sure enough, Israel has given this procedure an Orwellian name: “intel mapping”.

Last week, under pressure from the courts, the Israeli army announced that it had ended the practice of “mapping”, unless – and this will be a loophole easily exploited – there are “exceptional circumstances”.

Given that the families whose homes, privacy and dignity are invaded are not suspected of any offence, it is difficult to imagine what “exceptional circumstances” could ever justify these degrading and terrifying raids.

Masked intruders

In announcing its decision, the Israeli army said that in the digital age, there were other tools it could use to gain intelligence on Palestinians, beyond randomly invading their homes with guns in the middle of the night. A statement added that it was a humanitarian gesture aimed at “mitigating the disruption of citizens’ everyday life”.

Except, of course, Palestinians are not Israeli “citizens”; they are subjects without rights living under a belligerent military occupation. And this is not about “disruption” – Palestinians aren’t facing an unexpected train delay – but a form of collective punishment, and therefore a war crime.

As a report by three Israeli human rights organisations published last November observed, “it is highly doubtful that any instance of mapping could be considered legal under international law”. Nonetheless, these home invasions are commonplace. They are integral to the Israeli army’s policy of surveilling, controlling and persecuting Palestinians.

According to figures compiled by the United Nations, the Israeli army carried out around 6,400 “search or arrest operations” in 2017 and 2018 alone – with each operation potentially including more than one home. Research by Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, shows that the vast majority of such operations start between midnight and 5am.

In a quarter of cases, soldiers break down the door to enter, and in a third of cases, a family member is physically assaulted. Two-thirds of families have experienced these invasions more than once.

“Intel mapping” operations have been particularly difficult for the army to justify on any kind of security grounds. That led earlier this year to unwelcome scrutiny from Israel’s top court, which gave the army until August to divulge the wording of its “mapping” protocol. The army’s cancellation of the practice last week means that the rationale for traumatising thousands of Palestinian families over many years will continue to be a secret.

Habitual war crimes

The reality is that “mapping” was never really about building up a more accurate picture of Palestinian society. It has many other, far more sinister aims.

In practical terms, it is used to train young Israeli soldiers, familiarising them with the techniques of invading Palestinian homes and intimidating Palestinians – all in a safe environment for the soldiers. The army knows that Palestinian parents will be primarily concerned with protecting their children from the terrifying presence of armed intruders in what should be the family’s safest space.

In testimony to Breaking the Silence, an organisation for whistle-blowing Israeli soldiers, one soldier observed: “There’s rarely an operational motivation for it. Often, the motivation is practice, meaning we got a breaching tool [for forcing open doors] for the first time; no one knows how to use it, so it is decided that we break into a house now.”

But there are other, even darker purposes behind these random “mapping” raids. They are part of the gradual process by which the army acculturates its young soldiers into a life of committing habitual war crimes. It breaks down their sense of morality and any remnants of compassion after years of exposure in Israel’s school system to anti-Palestinian racism.

It turns Palestinians into nothing more than objects of suspicion and fear for the soldiers. Or as one Palestinian woman told Yesh Din: “The way they banged and came into the house was like entering somewhere with animals, not people.”

Terrorising Palestinians, even children, quickly becomes part of the humdrum routine of military “duties”.

Psychological warfare

But most important of all, home invasions traumatise Palestinians in ways designed to entrench the occupation and make it more permanent. They are a form of psychological warfare – a campaign of terror – against both the families and the communities they live in. They reinforce the message that the Israeli army is everywhere, controlling the smallest details of Palestinians’ lives.

Several soldiers told Breaking the Silence that the goal was to make Palestinians feel persecuted. One noted: “The bigger mission was to instill a sense of persecution in the Palestinian population. That’s not my phrase, it’s a phrase that actually appeared in [military] presentations and briefings.”

The soldiers take this guidance to heart. One said he understood the purpose of hiding his face “was to be more intimidating, scarier, and then maybe you get less resistance”.

“Mapping” raids are designed to make Palestinians believe that any kind of opposition to the occupation is futile, or counterproductive. Home invasions leave permanent scars, as women often describe feeling violated and losing a sense of pride in their home, while men suffer from the trauma associated with being unable to protect their wives and children. Children are left with anxiety and sleep disorders, and they struggle at school.

There is a further goal to these “mapping” operations when Jewish settlements have been built close to the Palestinian families being targeted. Home invasions take place on a regular basis for these families, serving as a form of pressure to encourage them to abandon their homes so the settlers can replace them.

A 2019 UN survey of an area of Hebron coveted by settlers found that over a three-year period, 75 percent of Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood had been “mapped”. One resident whose home was raided more than 20 times toldYesh Din researchers: “I think the entry [by soldiers] is just harassment, to drive us out of the house.”

Spying on Palestinians

Even some former soldiers understand that the intelligence-gathering rationales for these invasions are bogus. Several told the human rights groups that the intelligence supposedly gained from these operations was never put to later use. None could identify a database where the information was being stored.

Even if the mapping raids were primarily about collecting information, the army has far more effective means to spy on and control the Palestinian population in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The job of Unit 8200, one of the Israeli military’s many intelligence-gathering arms, includes listening in on Palestinian communications to find secrets that can be used to blackmail and extort Palestinians to collaborate with occupation authorities.

A so-called cyber unit in Israel’s justice ministry is tasked with spying on Palestinians’ internet and social media communications. And Israel has endless other sources of intelligence on Palestinians: collaborators, the Palestinian population registry that it controls, biometric identity documents, face-recognition technology, questioning at checkpoints, the use of drones, and the seizure of Palestinians for interrogation.

Court complicity

More importantly, the army knows that it can continue as before with these home invasions by using other pretexts. It will subsume “mapping” operations within even more violent categories of night raids – such as the search for weapons, interrogations of children about stone-throwing, or arrests.

Sadly, the Israeli courts have always shown a willingness to collude with the army in precisely these kinds of face-saving deceptions and cynical manipulations of language. There is no reason to believe that the Israeli legal system will do anything in practice to ensure that home invasions, whether for “mapping” or any other purpose, come to an end.

The record of Israeli courts has been consistently dismal in protecting Palestinians from Israeli army abuses. Even when the courts do belatedly rule against army protocols that flagrantly violate international law, the army invariably finds ways to undercut the ruling – usually with the court’s complicity. For years, the army has continued to use Palestinians as human shields, dragging out legal proceedings by recharacterising the practice as a so-called “neighbour procedure” or “prior warning”.

It is not hard to imagine that “intel mapping” could be given a similar linguistic makeover. And there is an additional reason to be sceptical: more than 20 years ago, Israel’s top court banned the torture of Palestinian detainees – yet, it continued almost unabated because the court created a loophole for cases defined as “ticking bombs”, when interrogators supposedly faced a race against time to extract information to save lives.

After the ruling, it seemed that every Palestinian seized by the army became a “ticking bomb”. Finally, in 2017, the court reversed its 1999 ruling when it permitted torture as long as interrogators did not cross a threshold of pain that it declined to determine in advance.

The reality is that when Israel treats its occupation as permanent, then preserving the occupation’s infrastructure – for surveillance, control, intimidation and humiliation – becomes an absolute necessity. When the occupier additionally seeks to drive out Palestinians to replace them with its own settler population, the rot runs deeper still. Palestinian men, women and children are reduced to nothing more than pieces to be swept off a chessboard.

For that reason, home invasions – the terrorising of families in the middle of the night by masked soldiers – will continue, whatever euphemism is used to justify it.

• First published in Middle East Eye

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Words Alone will not End Anti-Muslim Terror in Canada 

The killing of a Muslim family on June 6 in Ontario, Canada, again presented an opportunity for Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to brand himself as a voice of reason and communal harmony. However, Trudeau’s amiable and reassuring language is designed to veil a sinister reality which has, for many years, hidden the true face of Canadian politics.

“This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Trudeau told Parliament, two days after a Canadian terrorist, Nathaniel Veltman, deliberately struck a Canadian Muslim family at an intersection in London, Ontario. Only a young boy survived the attack which killed his parents, sister and grandmother. The 9-year-old boy remains in critical condition.

The Prime Minister, whose brand of friendly and progressive liberal facade is often juxtaposed with the rise of conservative, populist politics in much of the Western hemisphere, went on speaking as if an activist advocating human rights and equality for all. “If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital? How can we look families in the eye and say ‘Islamophobia isn’t real’?”, Trudeau said.

Ironically, it took years of pressure and concerted lobbying from many civil society organizations, progressive and Muslim groups to finally convince Trudeau to designate January 29 as the ‘National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia’. This specific date was chosen to commemorate the terrorist attack by a Canadian citizen on a Quebec City mosque in 2017. Six Canadian Muslims were killed and 19 others were injured in the hate crime in the Grand Mosque.

That attack, too, was an opportunity for Trudeau to rail against terrorism and hate.  Ultimately, it was all empty rhetoric, as the Canadian government has done little to rectify the dangerous phenomenon. This lack of meaningful action makes the government complicit in the rising Islamophobia and hate crimes in Canada.

By way of explaining his rejection of recognizing January 29 as the day of ‘action on Islamophobia’, Trudeau told Radio-Canada that, while it is “important to underline intolerance directed at people of faith,” he wished to “avoid that type of backlash that we’ve seen when we take these kinds of actions,” since the perpetrators of hate crimes are “still a small intolerant minority”. Jingoism aside, Trudeau was essentially arguing that recognition and action against Islamophobia were unnecessary as they may give too much attention to a small and hateful ‘minority’.

Trudeau is utterly wrong. A report submitted by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief in November last year showed that a majority of Canadians – 52% – believe that Muslims cannot be trusted, while 42% feel that discrimination against Muslims – read: racism – is mainly the fault of Muslims themselves.

The UN findings are part of a long trajectory of violence and racism targeting Canadian Muslims. A Gallup Poll published in 2011 has already debunked the ‘small minority’ claim. Canadian Muslims – 48% – along with American Muslims – 52 % – feel disrespected within their societies. This ‘disrespect’ manifests itself in numerous ways, much of it unreported, occasionally making news when it translates into outright violence. Indeed, there is plenty of that too.

Official Canadian police reports demonstrate that hate crimes against Canada’s Muslims are on the rise, with 166 such incidents reported in 2018, 181 in 2019 and so on, with violent crimes becoming more intense and bloodier with time.

Sadly, anti-Muslim terrorism in Canada is likely to increase in the future, not only because hate crime statistics show an upward trajectory, but because anti-Muslim sentiments often take center stage in government and media as well.

Negative depictions of Islam and Muslims in Canadian media must not be grouped under the designation of ‘mainstream Western media bias’, as media fear-mongering is penetrating the very psyche of large sections of Canadian society. Many Canadian politicians, even in Trudeau’s own party, often exploit this alarming phenomenon to feed their political ambitions.

Various Canadian provinces have either passed or drafted laws that specifically target Canada’s Muslim minorities, for example, Quebec’s Bill 62, which restricts the wearing of the niqab in public buildings. Outrageously, the Bill, which was passed by Quebec’s Liberal government in October 2017, followed the bloody attack on the Grand Mosque in Quebec City. Instead of fighting Islamophobia, Quebec’s officials provided it with a legal and moral justification.

While feeding Islamophobia at home, Trudeau persistently rages against human rights violators in China, the Middle East and around the world. As Chinese columnist Mu Lu rightly argued in Global Times, Canada uses “human rights as a stick to beat others.” While the same claim can also be made regarding the misuse of human rights as a foreign policy tool by other Western leaders, Trudeau is often successful in presenting his human rights concerns as genuine.

If Trudeau is, indeed, genuine in his desire to root out anti-Muslim terrorism from Canada, he should start by cleansing his own party of hate speech, end all attempts at criminalizing Islam and Muslims and ban hate speech against Muslims in the media.

Terrorism will not end as a result of pomposity but through real action. Trudeau seems to have much of the former and none of the latter.

The post Words Alone will not End Anti-Muslim Terror in Canada  first appeared on Dissident Voice.

All (MacCarthyite) hell breaks loose in Peru as the country prepares to choose new President

Huge billboards across Lima’s main avenues read like cheap Cold War propaganda: “Peru says no to communism”, “Socialism leads to communism”, and “Think about your children’s future”, are just three of the many panic-inducing slogans. Nobody knows who’s paying for the expensive advertisement and nobody cares, including the government agencies created to stop this kind of abuse.

The country’s oldest and leading newspaper, El Comercio –owner of another half a dozen smaller newspapers and a few television channels– is consciously throwing away the little credibility it has left in order to compel the masses to vote for their candidate: Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of Alberto Fujimori, who ruled Peru for 10 years (1990-2000) in one of the most corrupt governments in the country’s history, installing the long lasting neoliberal political-economic regime still in place.

Keiko Fujimori is also facing a potential 30 years sentence for her own corruption, mainly for receiving illegal campaign money from some of the most powerful local business tycoons, including top bankers. Winning the presidency would stall the criminal process against her for another five years. Along her political career, she’s been credibly connected to cocaine trafficking and corruption networks deep into different branches of the country’s government, among them the notorious “Cuellos Blancos” inside the Judiciary.

That’s the candidate being fiercely pushed by the elites throughout the traditional media landscape, as panic ensues among a citizenry subjected to a relentless propaganda blitz aimed to saw irrational fear toward anything that smells like leftwing politics. It doesn’t matter that neoliberalism lies on its deathbed and change is completely inevitable –as Chile constituent Assembly marches on and Colombia endures the riots and social upheaval that led to the former’s political shift in course–, the elites just won’t give up in their systematical and obtuse block of any meaningful change.

The result is a toxic wave of crude McCarthyism, extreme political polarization and hate among Peruvians. Meanwhile, Fujimori’s contender, the leftist Pedro Castillo –a modest and politically naive school teacher from the Andes–, isn’t proposing communism, but a political change in the guise of Evo Morales’ Bolivia.

But who cares about such a petty detail when you can seize on decades of anticommunism propaganda systematically imported from the most powerful country on Earth, and disseminated by the local media eco-chamber, in order to intimidate voters into abiding to the status quo.

And that’s hardly the lowest point of these elections.

A useful massacre

Peruvian military is deeply conservative thanks to its traditional subordination to the U.S. government in exchange of money, arms and technology, a sponsorship that includes both the army and the local police forces. They also train them and give them grants to study at notorious U.S. military academies like the School of the Americas, which changed its name –but not its spirit– back in 2001. But American patronage comes at a cost: they have to embrace anticommunism and the “national security state” doctrine; that means turning their attention away from defending the country from external threats to face the “domestic enemy”.

On May 23, as one of the last presidential debates was taking place in Lima, a massacre was being carried out in the VRAEM locality, deep inside the Peruvian liberated zones where cocaine production and trafficking thrives. Sixteen were killed with extreme cruelty, among them two little girls whose bodies were then burned beyond recognition.

The news about the massacre didn’t come from the media or even the police, but from a couple of Fujimori’s political aides and cabinet candidates, who posted pictures of the killing in social media. The message was clear from the very beginning: the culprit was Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), the Maoist terrorist group responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Peruvians. Its leader, Abimael Guzman, was captured by the government of Keiko Fujimori’s father in 1992, virtually ending the bloodshed.

A few hours after the news arrived to Lima and the rest of the country, on May 24, high ranking members of the three branches of the military confirmed the message given by the fujimoristas: remnants from the Shining Path, now under a different name and wholly dedicated to cocaine trafficking, were responsible for the brutal murders. The only evidence: flyers left behind by the supposed killers as they fled the scene, a very well-known practice among terrorist groups. Among many other things, the flyers read:

“Those who vote for Keiko Fujimori are traitors…”

As many other authorities spoke out only to confirm the news, nobody addressed some of the serious inconsistencies. First of all, the few witnesses and most of the locals from Vizcatan del Ene, where the massacre took place, know the narco-terrorists and their methods very well, and are in complete disbelief regarding the official version. The latter haven’t engaged in politically motivated attacks for many years, and the victims were part of the labor force used in the coca fields they look after. Everyone living in the towns around the place of the atrocities are convinced that the culprits were outsiders.

The style of the brutal attack was also at odds with what the locals –and most experts– know about this long separated branch of the Shining Path, which took the name “Militarizado Partido Comunista del Peru” more than a decade ago, and don’t identify themselves as SP, who they despise as traitors for surrendering back in the nineties to engage in national politics.

The group of four to five killers approached their victims using motorcycles, which the narco-terrorists never use because they are impractical in the jungle terrain where they would’ve come from. They didn’t shout their usual harangues and they didn’t even talk to the victims to tell them what they did to deserve their horrible fate, which is something the narco-terrorists usually do.

One of the survivors said they were dressed like “normal people”, without any kind of clothing that would give out their identity as either terrorists, police officers or military personnel. Let’s be clear: the narco-terrorist who control the zone don’t usually hide their identities: they kill openly to give a message to everybody else, and they kill for business –police informants, suspicious outsiders and the armed forces who fight them at enormous risk– but not for politics. Finally, an electrical black out preceded the attack and, according to locals in Vizcatan del Ene, that usually happens before military raids.

Back in Lima, the massacre was swiftly seized by the Fujimori campaign and the conservative Armed Forces to revive the trauma of terrorism. A couple of days after the news shocked the country, the candidate preferred by the elites and the establishment started to climb up in the polls when all seemed already lost in favor of the leftist candidate.

Pedro Castillo, a syndicalist, is politically connected to members of MOVADEF, the political party created by sympathizers of the terrorists who were beaten and jailed back in the nineties, in order to enter the political arena and plead for amnesty. The tie that binds the leftist candidate and the mentioned party –a huge liability in Castillo’s campaign– lies in their common participation in the country’s biggest teachers syndicate, SUTEP.

Next Sunday June 6, Peruvians will go to the polls to choose between “the daughter of the dictator” and a leftist candidate that never dreamed to reach this far into the elections –and sadly, has proven not to be up to par– as extreme political polarization has bitterly divided the country between “patriots” and “communists”.

If we can talk about any kind of silver lining to this dark episode in the history of Peru, it would be that the El Comercio Group, the oligarchic newspaper and media empire, has completely lost the little credibility it had left, by showing itself as a mouthpiece for the Fujimori campaign and the most exaggerated and irrational Red Scare madness in decades. After whatever happens next June 6, nobody will ever believe in its alleged impartiality ever again.

Regarding what (really) happened in the cocaine infested jungle of Peru, and considering that the military establishment and the economic elite are fine with the evidence-free and politically convenient official version of the massacre, the possibility that the truth will ever be revealed seems remote.

The post All (MacCarthyite) hell breaks loose in Peru as the country prepares to choose new President first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“The Savage Punishment Of Gaza”: Israel’s Latest Assault On Palestine’s Open Prison

Recent media coverage of Israel and Palestine, not least by BBC News, has been full of the usual deceptive propaganda tropes: Israel is ‘responding’ or ‘reacting’ to Palestinian ‘provocation’ and ‘escalation’; Palestinian rockets ‘killed’ Israelis, but Palestinians ‘have died’ from unnamed causes; Israel has ‘armed forces’ and ‘security forces’, but Hamas has ‘militants’. And, as ever, Palestinians were killed in far greater numbers than Israelis. At least 248 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombardment in Gaza, including 66 children. Palestinian rocket fire killed 12 in Israel, including one child.

Imagine if the BBC reported:

Palestinian security forces responded after Israeli militants enforcing the apartheid occupation attacked and injured Palestinian worshippers.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen referred night after night on BBC News at Ten to ‘a war between Israel and Hamas’, a version of events pushed hard by Israel. As John Pilger said in a recent interview, ‘Bowen knows that’s wrong’. This is no war. In fact, the world has witnessed a massive attack by one of the world’s most powerful, lethal militaries, armed and supported to the hilt by the US (which sends $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel each year) and western allies, imposing a brutal occupation and deliberately subjecting the Palestinian civilian population to death, violence, terror and appalling hardship.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned early on that heavy Israeli bombing was pushing Gaza to the edge of catastrophe:

‘The Israeli bombing is incredibly heavy and stronger than previous bombing campaigns. Relentless bombing has destroyed many homes and buildings all around us. It’s not safe to go outside, and no one is safe inside, people are trapped. Emergency health workers are taking incredible but necessary risks to move around.’

On 19 May, the 10th day of intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the BBC News website carried headlines:

‘Israel targets Hamas chiefs’

And:

‘Israel targets Gaza militants’

So, why was Israel killing so many noncombatants, including children? Why were residences being flattened? The United Nations estimated that Israel had demolished 94 buildings in Gaza, comprising 461 housing and commercial units. Why were hospitals and clinics suffering so much damage? And buildings where media organisations were based?

Why were there Israeli airstrikes in the area of the MSF clinic in Gaza City, killing at least 42 people including 10 children? An orphanage was also destroyed.

The massacre was ‘one of the most horrific crimes’ Israel has committed during its ongoing war against the people of Gaza, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor who added that:

‘the attack was not an isolated incident, but another example of Israel’s systematic policy that we have witnessed over the past six days.’

As Tamara Nasser observed in a piece on the Electronic Intifada website, Israel was unable to substantiate its claim that ‘Hamas military intelligence were using the building’ when pressed to do so by US public radio network NPR.

Nasser added:

‘Even if that Israeli claim were true, under the laws of war, Israel’s destruction of entire buildings would be wholly disproportionate.

‘Rather, Israel’s mass destruction of buildings and infrastructure appears to fit the pattern of the Dahiya Doctrine – named after its 2006 destruction of the southern suburb of Beirut.

‘The goal is to deliberately inflict such pain and suffering on the civilian population and society at large as to deter anyone from resisting against Israel’s occupation. This can be prosecuted as a war crime.’

It also serves as a useful definition of terrorism.

Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said via Twitter:

‘What the Israeli army asserts, namely that the alleged presence of Hamas in the buildings would make them legitimate military objectives is absolutely false from a legal point of view, since they also house civilians, such as the media.’

He added:

‘Even assuming that the Israeli fire was necessary (which is absolutely not proven), the total destruction of the buildings demonstrates that the principles of distinction and proportionality have been flagrantly violated.’

Indeed, RSF sent a letter to Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, urging an investigation of Israel’s targeting of the offices of 23 media organizations in Gaza during Israel’s bombardment.

‘False Equivalence Between Occupier And Occupied’

Gregory Shupak wrote in a piece for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, the US-based media watchdog, that corporate media coverage presented a ‘false equivalence between occupier and occupied’. He continued:

‘The fatal flaw in the “both sides” narrative is that only the Israeli side has ethnically cleansed and turned millions on the Palestinians’ side into refugees by preventing them from exercising their right to return to their homes. Israel is the only side subjecting anyone to apartheid and military occupation. It is only the Palestinian side—including those living inside of what is presently called Israel—that has been made to live as second-class citizens in their own land. That’s to say nothing of the lopsided scale of the death, injury and damage to infrastructure that Palestinians have experienced as compared to Israelis, both during the present offensive and in the longer term.’

When last week’s truce ‘between Israel and Hamas’ was imminent, Jeremy Bowen told BBC viewers:

‘Now, the essentials of that conflict are not going to change. Until they do, there will be more trouble in the future.’

But Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, lethal sanctions maintained by a brutal military occupation, apartheid, the killing and imprisonment of Palestinian children, Israel’s constant trampling of international law, and the daily humiliation of Palestinians constitute ‘trouble’ right now regardless of what happens ‘in the future’. These essential truths are regularly unmentioned or glossed over by Bowen, the BBC and the rest of a ‘mainstream’ media trying to ‘normalise the unthinkable’, by presenting violent occupation as a ‘clash’ between two sides competing for legitimacy.

As Abby Martin noted in a video powerfully rebutting the Israeli claim that Hamas uses ‘human shields’ in Gaza:

‘Israel has intentionally made Gaza unliveable. The only way Gaza is able to exert pressure on Israel is by firing rockets. If they peacefully protest their conditions, they’re massacred just the same. If they do nothing, Israel continues to blockade them, erode their living conditions while ethnically cleansing the rest of their land.’

This perspective – the Palestinian perspective – is almost entirely absent from news coverage. Moreover, WikiLeaks has revealed that when Israel’s forces invaded Gaza in 2009’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’, they  – Israel – did actually use Gazans as human shields. A classified US cable reported that Israeli soldiers:

‘testified to instances where Gazans were used as human shields, incendiary phosphorous shells were fired over civilian population areas, and other examples of excessive firepower that caused unnecessary fatalities and destruction of property.’

During the latest phase of Israeli aggression, Israel’s Minister of Defence Benny Gantz warned:

‘No person, neighbourhood or area in Gaza is immune [from airstrikes]’

This is a grotesque justification for war crimes. Where was the headlined outrage in response from ‘mainstream’ media that regularly cite defence of human rights as justification for war on countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya?

Hamas: A ‘Convenient Monster’

Hamas is regularly presented by corporate media as some kind of monster, a terrorist organisation with a declared intention of destroying Israel. This is a ‘convenient’ misrepresentation, as explained cogently in a recent interview with Frank Barat by Imad Alsoos, a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute, who is an expert on Hamas.

Likewise, in an interview with Afshin Rattansi on RT’s ‘Going Underground’, John Pilger commented:

‘There’s been a whole attempt to make Hamas the centre of the reporting. And that’s nonsense. As if Hamas is a peculiar demon. In fact, Hamas and its military wing are part of a resistance; a resistance that was provoked by the Israelis. The real demon in this is Israel. But it’s not simply Israel. I mean, this is as much a British and American war against Palestine, as it is an Israeli one.’

Pilger added that this is a war:

‘against the people of Palestine who are doing one thing – and that is exercising their moral and legal right to resist a brutal occupation.’

It is rarely mentioned in the ‘mainstream’ media that Hamas is, as Pilger pointed out, the legitimately elected government of Gaza. Moreover, Hamas has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders. But Israel has always rejected the offer, just as it rejected the Arab League peace plan of 2002; and just as it has always rejected the international consensus for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Why? Because the threat of such ‘peace offensives’ would involve unacceptable concessions and compromises. Israeli writer Amos Elon has written of the ‘panic and unease among our political leadership’ caused by Arab peace proposals.1

The Palestinians are seen as an obstacle by Israel’s leaders; an irritant to be subjugated. Noam Chomsky commented:

‘Traditionally over the years, Israel has sought to crush any resistance to its programs of takeover of the parts of Palestine it regards as valuable, while eliminating any hope for the indigenous population to have a decent existence enjoying national rights.’

And, as Chomsky noted:

‘The key feature of the occupation has always been humiliation: they [the Palestinians] must not be allowed to raise their heads. The basic principle, often openly expressed, is that the “Araboushim” – a term that belongs with “nigger” or “kike” – must understand who rules this land and who walks in it with head lowered and eyes averted.”2

In 2018, when Palestinians were being shot dead by Israeli soldiers in peaceful weekly ‘Great March of Return’ protests near Gaza’s border, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy observed that:

‘the killing of Palestinians is accepted in Israel more lightly than the killing of mosquitoes’.

Given all of the above context, it is criminal that, day after day, BBC News presented a false balance between a powerful Israeli state-occupier and a brutalised, ethnically cleansed, apartheid-suffering Palestinian people. This systematic misrepresentation of reality amounts to complicity in Israel’s vast PR campaign to ‘justify’ its war crimes, brutality and repression of Palestinian people.

As well as Bowen’s wilfully distorted reporting for BBC News, and the biased coverage by corporate media generally, Pilger pointed to the lack of dissent in the UK Parliament in the face of atrocities being committed once again by Israel. He focused particular attention on:

‘Starmer’s Labour party which allowed pro-Israel groups to direct the policies of the Labour party, that, in effect, support this attack. When you have the Shadow Foreign Secretary saying that to criticise Israeli atrocities is antisemitic, then we’re in Lewis Carroll world, really.’

Concluding Remarks

Chomsky once wrote of an elderly Palestinian man demonstrating in Gaza with a placard that read:

‘You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.’

This simple but devastating message, said Chomsky, is ‘the proper context’ for ‘the savage punishment of Gaza.’

It is a context that is almost entirely missing from corporate media coverage of Israel and Palestine, not least by BBC News.

  1. Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, Pluto Press, London, 1999, p. 75.
  2. Chomsky, op. cit., p. 489.
The post “The Savage Punishment Of Gaza”: Israel’s Latest Assault On Palestine’s Open Prison first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Colombia’s Rebellion against the Capitalist System

Colombia has been burning with the flames of resistance ever since a national strike began on April 28, 2021. The initial impetus for the large-scale demonstrations came from a regressive tax reform. The tax bill came into being due to the necessity of the Colombian state to push down the rising fiscal deficit, which could reach 10% of GDP this year. On top of this, the tight integration of the Colombian economy into the architectures of imperialism has resulted in an external debt of $156,834,000,000 (51.8% of GDP, projected to come up to 62.8%).

Someone had to pay for this crisis and the ruling class had no interest in doing so. This was demonstrated when the finance minister ignored the recommendations made by the state-appointed expert committee to tax the highest earners first. The attempt to make the workers and the middle layers pay for the crisis was the spark that ignited the masses’ accumulated rage.

The movement has slowly spread into the larger questions of political economy, openly confronting the structural barbarity of a glaciated plutocracy. This plutocracy has blood on its hands; it has amassed obscene amounts of wealth by relentlessly mowing down the resistance of the oppressed masses.

Entrenched Violence

The modern history of Colombia is enveloped in vapors of violence. Between 1948 and 1958, the country was the scene of one of the most intense and protracted instances of widespread violence in the twentieth century. In this period, there was a civil war called “The Violence” between Liberal and Conservative parties which took 200,000 lives. In order to bring an end to civil war, the Conservatives and Liberals made a political pact in 1958, known as the National Front (NF) which established that the presidency would alternate between the two parties for a period of 16 years and all positions in the three branches of government would be distributed evenly between them. Despite this, violence continued until 1966.

NF barred the Colombian Communist Party (PCC) from conventional political process in 1955 to ensure that its rising popularity was curtailed. In this way, NF helped in the alternation of power between the different factions of the Colombia elite while strengthening the armed forces to suppress popular reforms. After the civil war, capital accumulation consolidated, agri-business interests grew stronger and land concentration increased. Suffocated by the brutal vehemence of blood-tainted profit-making and hamstrung by the closure of traditional channels of opposition, PCC formed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) on May 27, 1964, as its armed wing.

Between 1984 and 1988, the FARC-EP agreed to a ceasefire with then President Belisario Betancur and many of its militants opted for electoral politics by forming a mass-based political party, the Patriotic Union (UP).  In all, UP gained 12 elected congressional members, 21 representatives to departmental assemblies, 170 members of city councils and 335 municipal councilors. Before, during, and after scoring these substantial electoral victories in local, state, and national elections, the military-backed death squads murdered three of the UP’s presidential candidates.

Over 5,000 legal electoral activists were killed. The FARC-EP was forced to return to armed opposition because of Colombian regime-sponsored mass terrorism. Between 1985 and 2008, tens of thousands of peasant leaders, trade unionists, human rights activists, and neighborhood leaders as well as journalists, lawyers, and congress people were killed, jailed, or driven into exile. As is evident, whenever ordinary Colombians have stood up for life, the governing political caste and the ruling economic class have systematically tapped into the vast power of state terror to chop off any hope for a better future.

Even today, the same practice of deploying ever greater amounts of violence continues. The director of Human Rights Watch believes that the protests in Colombia have seen a level of police violence previously unknown in Latin America. He claims that on this continent he has never seen “tanks firing multiple rounds of tear gas projectiles, among other things, horizontally at demonstrators at high speed. A most dangerous practice”.

US Support

The Colombian elite’s construction of repressive apparatuses has been fundamentally aided by the American empire. Colombia has been witness to a US-sponsored counter-insurgent nation-building project aimed at contesting the rapid expansion of rural guerrillas on Colombia’s endless coca frontier, its mining and energy frontiers, its agro-industrial frontiers, and into most of its towns and even cities. This project has turned out to be purely destructive.

By the end of the 1990s, there were more than 400 paramilitary massacres annually. Enter US-backed Plan Colombia, ostensibly designed to cut cocaine production in half: 80% of it went to the Colombian police and armed forces, who worked with the paramilitaries against the FARC, or, more often, against the Colombian people who lived in areas where guerrillas were active. From 2006 to 2010, the Colombian armed forces disappeared more than 10,000 civilians and disguised them as guerrilla kills to boost the body count.

Propped up by a bloated, national security state, the political class became totally dysfunctional, making no move to implement the 1991 Constitution, whose provisions on indigenous autonomy became dead letters. Such was the mockery of the electorate’s existence that the passage of the constitution was preceded by record numbers of indigenous deaths.

The war machine’s dispossession, disappearance, torture, and massacre of indigenous people left no community untouched. The Afro-Colombians in the Pacific, who had secured provision to collective land title in 1993, following the indigenous model of autonomy through communal land tenure, suddenly found themselves in the thick of death and destruction as their lands were coveted by mining and logging companies as well as drug traffickers-cum-ranchers-cum-paramilitaries.

Today, Colombia continues to be the stooge of USA, being the largest recipient of American foreign aid in Latin America, and the largest outside of the Middle East. In 2020, Congress appropriated over $460 million in foreign aid, with most of the funds being directed towards “peace and security,” which includes providing training and equipment to security forces. This has translated into the build-up of massive police and military forces that are unleashed against the civilian population whenever the need comes to enforce the neoliberal model.

Continued Resistance

On November 24, 2016, the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP signed a peace agreement, the “Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace”. However, this promise of peace has proven to be full of contradictory tensions. Insecurity and inequality continue unabated, despite the promise of stability, inclusiveness and state responsiveness. There can be little prospect of a meaningful or sustainable peace if large sections of society remain vulnerable to violence, insecurity, injustice and other harms.

However, an entirely elitist architecture of governance has been a part and parcel of Colombia’s history.  Whether it is conflict or “peace”, all types of political periods have been utilized by the agribusinesses, extractive industries, large-scale landowners and rural elites to enrich themselves. Meanwhile, the marginalized have been exposed to further violence and insecurity. The calcified cruelty of this system reached such a level that the subjugated pole could no longer keep quiet; it had to take to the streets to reassert its right to live with dignity.

Since Duque came to power in 2018, Colombians have led fierce social struggles: student-led demonstrations against corruption and state terror over three consecutive months in 2018; a nationwide strike of teachers, students, farmers and pensioners in support of public education and pensions in April 2019; “March for Life” demonstrations by students and teachers in response to escalation in assassinations of activists and opposition politicians by neo-paramilitaries and police in July 2019; nationwide general strikes against austerity policies and the cover-up of a military-headed bombing campaign that killed at least eight children in the department of Caquetá; and the mass demonstrations that erupted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020 against police violence. In the current conjuncture, resistance will continue as the heavy fist of neoliberal authoritarianism disrupts the existence of the majority of the people.

The post Colombia’s Rebellion against the Capitalist System first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Colombia’s Rebellion against the Capitalist System

Colombia has been burning with the flames of resistance ever since a national strike began on April 28, 2021. The initial impetus for the large-scale demonstrations came from a regressive tax reform. The tax bill came into being due to the necessity of the Colombian state to push down the rising fiscal deficit, which could reach 10% of GDP this year. On top of this, the tight integration of the Colombian economy into the architectures of imperialism has resulted in an external debt of $156,834,000,000 (51.8% of GDP, projected to come up to 62.8%).

Someone had to pay for this crisis and the ruling class had no interest in doing so. This was demonstrated when the finance minister ignored the recommendations made by the state-appointed expert committee to tax the highest earners first. The attempt to make the workers and the middle layers pay for the crisis was the spark that ignited the masses’ accumulated rage.

The movement has slowly spread into the larger questions of political economy, openly confronting the structural barbarity of a glaciated plutocracy. This plutocracy has blood on its hands; it has amassed obscene amounts of wealth by relentlessly mowing down the resistance of the oppressed masses.

Entrenched Violence

The modern history of Colombia is enveloped in vapors of violence. Between 1948 and 1958, the country was the scene of one of the most intense and protracted instances of widespread violence in the twentieth century. In this period, there was a civil war called “The Violence” between Liberal and Conservative parties which took 200,000 lives. In order to bring an end to civil war, the Conservatives and Liberals made a political pact in 1958, known as the National Front (NF) which established that the presidency would alternate between the two parties for a period of 16 years and all positions in the three branches of government would be distributed evenly between them. Despite this, violence continued until 1966.

NF barred the Colombian Communist Party (PCC) from conventional political process in 1955 to ensure that its rising popularity was curtailed. In this way, NF helped in the alternation of power between the different factions of the Colombia elite while strengthening the armed forces to suppress popular reforms. After the civil war, capital accumulation consolidated, agri-business interests grew stronger and land concentration increased. Suffocated by the brutal vehemence of blood-tainted profit-making and hamstrung by the closure of traditional channels of opposition, PCC formed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) on May 27, 1964, as its armed wing.

Between 1984 and 1988, the FARC-EP agreed to a ceasefire with then President Belisario Betancur and many of its militants opted for electoral politics by forming a mass-based political party, the Patriotic Union (UP).  In all, UP gained 12 elected congressional members, 21 representatives to departmental assemblies, 170 members of city councils and 335 municipal councilors. Before, during, and after scoring these substantial electoral victories in local, state, and national elections, the military-backed death squads murdered three of the UP’s presidential candidates.

Over 5,000 legal electoral activists were killed. The FARC-EP was forced to return to armed opposition because of Colombian regime-sponsored mass terrorism. Between 1985 and 2008, tens of thousands of peasant leaders, trade unionists, human rights activists, and neighborhood leaders as well as journalists, lawyers, and congress people were killed, jailed, or driven into exile. As is evident, whenever ordinary Colombians have stood up for life, the governing political caste and the ruling economic class have systematically tapped into the vast power of state terror to chop off any hope for a better future.

Even today, the same practice of deploying ever greater amounts of violence continues. The director of Human Rights Watch believes that the protests in Colombia have seen a level of police violence previously unknown in Latin America. He claims that on this continent he has never seen “tanks firing multiple rounds of tear gas projectiles, among other things, horizontally at demonstrators at high speed. A most dangerous practice”.

US Support

The Colombian elite’s construction of repressive apparatuses has been fundamentally aided by the American empire. Colombia has been witness to a US-sponsored counter-insurgent nation-building project aimed at contesting the rapid expansion of rural guerrillas on Colombia’s endless coca frontier, its mining and energy frontiers, its agro-industrial frontiers, and into most of its towns and even cities. This project has turned out to be purely destructive.

By the end of the 1990s, there were more than 400 paramilitary massacres annually. Enter US-backed Plan Colombia, ostensibly designed to cut cocaine production in half: 80% of it went to the Colombian police and armed forces, who worked with the paramilitaries against the FARC, or, more often, against the Colombian people who lived in areas where guerrillas were active. From 2006 to 2010, the Colombian armed forces disappeared more than 10,000 civilians and disguised them as guerrilla kills to boost the body count.

Propped up by a bloated, national security state, the political class became totally dysfunctional, making no move to implement the 1991 Constitution, whose provisions on indigenous autonomy became dead letters. Such was the mockery of the electorate’s existence that the passage of the constitution was preceded by record numbers of indigenous deaths.

The war machine’s dispossession, disappearance, torture, and massacre of indigenous people left no community untouched. The Afro-Colombians in the Pacific, who had secured provision to collective land title in 1993, following the indigenous model of autonomy through communal land tenure, suddenly found themselves in the thick of death and destruction as their lands were coveted by mining and logging companies as well as drug traffickers-cum-ranchers-cum-paramilitaries.

Today, Colombia continues to be the stooge of USA, being the largest recipient of American foreign aid in Latin America, and the largest outside of the Middle East. In 2020, Congress appropriated over $460 million in foreign aid, with most of the funds being directed towards “peace and security,” which includes providing training and equipment to security forces. This has translated into the build-up of massive police and military forces that are unleashed against the civilian population whenever the need comes to enforce the neoliberal model.

Continued Resistance

On November 24, 2016, the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP signed a peace agreement, the “Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace”. However, this promise of peace has proven to be full of contradictory tensions. Insecurity and inequality continue unabated, despite the promise of stability, inclusiveness and state responsiveness. There can be little prospect of a meaningful or sustainable peace if large sections of society remain vulnerable to violence, insecurity, injustice and other harms.

However, an entirely elitist architecture of governance has been a part and parcel of Colombia’s history.  Whether it is conflict or “peace”, all types of political periods have been utilized by the agribusinesses, extractive industries, large-scale landowners and rural elites to enrich themselves. Meanwhile, the marginalized have been exposed to further violence and insecurity. The calcified cruelty of this system reached such a level that the subjugated pole could no longer keep quiet; it had to take to the streets to reassert its right to live with dignity.

Since Duque came to power in 2018, Colombians have led fierce social struggles: student-led demonstrations against corruption and state terror over three consecutive months in 2018; a nationwide strike of teachers, students, farmers and pensioners in support of public education and pensions in April 2019; “March for Life” demonstrations by students and teachers in response to escalation in assassinations of activists and opposition politicians by neo-paramilitaries and police in July 2019; nationwide general strikes against austerity policies and the cover-up of a military-headed bombing campaign that killed at least eight children in the department of Caquetá; and the mass demonstrations that erupted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020 against police violence. In the current conjuncture, resistance will continue as the heavy fist of neoliberal authoritarianism disrupts the existence of the majority of the people.

The post Colombia’s Rebellion against the Capitalist System first appeared on Dissident Voice.